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How to copy and paste on Mac

If it turns out that you need to move a block of text, image or other object from one part of a document to another, or from one application to another, you must use the commands on your keyboard that we know how to copy, cut or paste in macOS.

On Mac, the keyboard shortcuts for these actions are different from other devices such as Windows-based PCs. With your Mac, you can proceed as follows:

  1. Highlight the text or object you want to move.
  2. Copy by pressing Cmd + C or Cut the text with Cmd + X. Both save the selected text or object, with the difference that the Copy option leaves it in its original place while Cut deletes it.
  3. Place the mouse cursor where you want to place the text or object and paste by pressing Cmd + V.

Keep in mind that the objective may be in a different document or even in an alternative application. It may also be the case that you want to copy it to a different device. Let's see how to do it.

Alternative shortcuts

Most people use the Cmd shortcuts listed above, but you should know that there are alternatives. After restoring the object or choosing the paste position, you can right-click and select Cut, Copy or Paste in the menu. Also from the Edit drop-down menu.

Paste or combine styles

Sometimes, when pasting between documents with different formats, or when switching between different applications, the pasted text may appear differently from the destination. This is because without knowing it, you have also copied the text format of the original.

To avoid this, you can use a command that ensures that the pasted text follows the format of the paragraph or document to which you are joining it, instead of the format of the text you just left behind.

For these cases, instead of pressing the Cmd + V commands to paste the text, go to the Edit drop-down menu and select Paste and join style. There is an abbreviated method of keys that you can also use, but varies between applications.

Generally it is Cmd + Shift + V, but in some applications such as TextEdit, you will also have to press the Alt / Option key.

Learn with us how to make a screenshot on your Mac in a simple way with these simple steps and explanatory video.

Copy and paste between macOS and iOS devices

More advanced advice is related to the release of Universal Clipboard from macOS Sierra, so you can copy some content to your Mac and then paste it on your iPhone device, or vice versa.

Assuming the function is enabled, simply highlight the object on your iPhone or iPad with iOS operating system. For example, tap on Copy. Now open a document on your Mac and press Cmd + V.

You may appreciate an estimated time delay of between 3 and 5 seconds in the case of texts, and something else for image content, but soon the element that is copied from one device to another will appear.

How to know that Universal Clipboard is available? In addition to iOS 10 and macOS Sierra or later, both devices must log in to the same iCloud account and have Bluetooth and Wifi turned on. Both will have to meet the Continuity requirements.